As the 55th Annual CMA Awards came to a close on Wednesday evening, a visibly shocked Luke Combs took to the stage to accept the night’s highest honor: Entertainer of the Year.
During his acceptance speech, the North Carolina native admitted he was “at a loss for words” after being presented with the trophy from one of his musical heroes, Alan Jackson.
He went on to thank fans, his fellow artists and his team, but one person noticeably missing from his speech was his wife, Nicole Hocking.
“I just want to thank everybody in this room,” he said while on stage. “The fans, every artist in this room. Every single person that was nominated for this award this year and every year before deserves to win this. I don’t deserve to win it, but I’m sure as hell glad that I did.”
Following the show, the Grand Ole Opry member reacted to forgetting to mention Nicole in an interview with Access.
“I did forget to thank my wife out there which, babe, I love you, you know I love you. I don’t even have to say it, you know I love you,” he gushed.
Combs admitted that he doesn’t pre-write his speeches. Instead, he prefers to live in the moment.
“I like the moment, like you wanna’ say just whatever comes to mind up there, and I know that sometimes you probably say something stupid, laughable up there but like just like the genuine bewilderment for me up there,” he explained.
Luuuuuke! Watch as @LukeCombs accepts the #CMAawards trophy for ENTERTAINER OF THE YEAR for the first time! pic.twitter.com/1v3TOmShc8
— CMA Country Music (@CountryMusic) November 11, 2021
Combs shared that he had zero expectations to win the night’s top honor and gushed over his fellow nominees.
“I mean, everybody in that category is somebody that’s like Idol status, you know what I mean,” he said. “Like, you look up to a guy like Eric [Church], man, and his ability to hold a crowd and write a song and Chris [Stapleton], just one of the best songwriters of all time, and Carrie [Underwood]’s like the best voice ever and Miranda [Lambert]’s the most badass person on the planet.”
The fact that he’s the one who took home the honor is still mind-blowing.
“It just doesn’t make any sense to me. So, it’s just unreal,” the chart-topping star shared.
Prior to his big win, Combs debuted his new song, “Doin’ This.” Following the live debut, the track was released to streaming platforms worldwide.
“This song means a lot to me personally. Not to recite the lyrics, but for me, it’s truly about playing country music for a crowd, whether that’s 70 people or 70,000 people, and playing country music with my buddies in the band,” he shared in a statement. “It really doesn’t matter where we’re playing or how many people we’re playing for because it isn’t about the fame, the fortune, the name, or the glory. It’s about getting to make and play country music.”
The official “Doin’ This” music video also made its debut on Wednesday evening. Check it out HERE.